I ask for the grace to be fully present this day. It has been a long week of one meeting after another, studies, baptismal prep for Sunday and a large funeral this afternoon. It is the third week in row that has been this intense. We've dropped some balls and we are underprepared for the funeral. In another week, we begin our congregational giving program, then thanksgiving, then, thank God, I have two weeks off, during which I'll be catching up with routine medical appointments I don't have time to do while I'm working. You'd think we would learn to pace the fall after all these years.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes* with sighs too deep for words. 27And God,* who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit* intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.*
1) "the Spirit helps us in our weakness;" "...we do not know how to pray as we ought;" "...that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words;" "...God, who searches the heart;" "...searches the heart;" "...knows what the mind of the Spirit is;" "...the will of God;" "...helps us in our weakness;" "...with sighs too deep for words;" "...searches the heart;" "...the Spirit intercedes;" sighs too deep for words."
2) My first thought is, "Thanks be to God!" One of the first books I used when learning to use lectio divina was called Too Deep for Words, by Thelma Hall. In fact, when I started this blog, I was using the index at the back for tracts of text. By way of spiritual journeying, I think this is probably one of the most important passages. Really, we learn to let the spirit pray in us. But wow, I've known/trusted/believed this 20 years almost, and "I" still get in the way. Does that mean I have 20 years to go? Am I half way through the wilderness? Or do we ever really surrender to this reality? Today is a thirsty, grumbling, testing day in the wilderness. If waters shows up, it will only be because it sprang from a rock. I know and trust that it is good to be here. I know and trust that this is probably one of the most fulfilling places to be. "Saints" in this passage refers to all the followers of Christ hence, "the Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God." Once again, Thanks be to God!
3) To trust the spirit to intercede with sighs too deep for words.
"Holy One, may your spirit intercede."
Breathprayer: "Spirit intercedes.... with sighs too deep for words."